Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

If there is one lesson that HN needs to learn, it's that profitable is not the same thing as important.



Without cash flow, how far can the site go? Someone needs to pay the bandwidth/server bill. Not to mention it costs time to run a site. If you are working full-time at another job (because you aren't bringing any money in), you won't have any time to work on it.

Reddit succeeded largely because the company that bought them is making money elsewhere.

-----


>> Reddit succeeded largely because the company that bought them is making money elsewhere.

Such a nonsense makes me angry. Surely you've heard about companies called Google, Facebook, Linkedin, that succeeded without being bought and for a long time not making a profit.

-----


The difference is Reddit isn't particularly looking for profit. Unless they completely change their business and way of doing things (unlikely to happen), they probably will never make a profit.

-----


Agreed. If they are re-investing money to grow the product, that might be why they aren't currently profitable. That doesn't indicate a lack of success in my book.

-----


I think that the endless stream of stories about websites shutting down and deleting all user content has made it clear to HN users that clearing a profit is pretty important.

-----


So they are important, but need to live off ramen every day (figuratively). What good does that do to them?

I don't think grandparent should be downvoted, he raises a good point. Tons and tons of people use Reddit, but Reddit has a hard time making a living.

-----


> So they are important, but need to live off ramen every day (figuratively). What good does that do to them?

Maybe they enjoy it? Maybe it makes them happy?

Not everything is about money.

-----


Power and fame are strong motivators too.

-----


Look back in time. Read up on other things that had a massive userbase, but were unsustainable.

Checkup alladvantage - they paid people to surf. Had millions of users, but ultimately failed because their "business model" was idiotic.

Getting millions of users is pretty easy if you pay them to be a user. Someday though, it's only worthwhile if you can build a sustainable business which at least doesn't lose money hand over fist.

If Reddit hadn't got bought and supported by other profitable businesses, I doubt it would have survived.

-----


AllAdvantage was great for free money as a teenager. It only took a few minutes to slap together a VB application to move the mouse a few pixels every minute. I made a few hundred dollars from them while I slept.

-----


I guess I didn't have my act together enough as a teenager to commit fraud over the Internet while I slept.

-----


It wasn't really fraud. The terms of use etc weren't really clear enough or lets face it enforceable.

Was it fraud if you got a dog to play with the mouse, and never looked at the screen? The dog might have still been looking at the adverts!

-----


That was more of a general statement than a comment specifically on reddit's position.

I can make millions of dollars selling condom wrappers, but just because I have made millions of dollars does not mean that I have done something important. I may catch quite a bit of hate for this, but a large portion of HN's content is on things that make money, but are not truly important.

-----


I think the mantra from the startup community is often:

1. Make money doing whatever it takes. eg come up with some crappy website, sell it to google, then shut it down. 2. The money problem is solved! 3. Spend money solving world hunger, diseases, philanthropy.

Which IMHO is pretentious BS.

-----




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: